Sophia George, the V&A museum’s first ever Game Designer in Residence, has launched her first game, inspired by her work with the V&A – a brand new iPad game inspired by the work of textile designer William Morris.
Strawberry Thief takes its title from from a famous William Morris furnishing fabric, which is on display in the V&A’s Britain 1500-1900 galleries.
The game enables the user to sketch and colour the famous pattern by flying a bird – the strawberry thief – across their iPad.
As the player drags their finger across the screen, it leaves a trail of stitches for the bird to follow – and each section of the pattern it flies over then transforms from a pencil sketch to the coloured pattern, accompanied by music created by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) specifically for the game.
Sophia researched her game between October 2013 and March 2014 in the V&A, before returning to Abertay University to develop the game in conjunction with the entirely awesome Erin Michno from game studio Quartic Llama, Neil Cullen from the RSNO and Abertay students Ellen Brown and Cameron Moore. All of whom are equally excellent…
I’m delighted to be releasing my second game, Strawberry Thief, after a wonderful year working in the V&A and at Abertay University. It’s been an incredible opportunity to have access to the V&A collections, and to the game design experts at Abertay. With Strawberry Thief I wanted to show that games are an incredibly artistic, creative medium that can excite, inspire and even relax the player, quite unlike the stereotype of games just involving fast-paced violence. It’s also very important to me that families play games together, that games are designed for older people to engage with technology, and that girls and young women see game art, design and programming as real career options for them.
For her next project, Sophia will be introducing game design to primary school pupils in Dundee, working with Dundee City Council and Abertay University. She will introduce inspirations from her V&A research as the building blocks for game ideas – including the works of Margaret (the wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and Frances Macdonald.
Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, partners in the Residency, said:
It’s wonderful to see the way in which Sophia has responded to the V&A’s historic design holdings in creating her Strawberry Thief game. Taking inspiration from design of the past to produce new innovative design is at the heart of the V&A, so we are delighted to be working with such a rising star as Sophia George.
Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said:
Sophia is a very inspiring young designer, and Strawberry Thief gives us a glimpse of the potential for games to explore new ways of interpreting and exhibiting the work of famous artists. Working in partnership with V&A has allowed their expertise in art and design and our experience in game development to help create a beautiful new game.
Development of Strawberry Thief was supported by the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, which funds an Innovation Internship each summer for a student at Abertay University.
Strawberry Thief is OUT NOW – FREE – for iPad.
Strawberry Thief (iOS) – FREE